There is a cross outside the window, on top of a hill that rises past the lake. It wasn’t always there. It began one day as a small pole against the sky. It grew over the summer amid distant noises of construction, marring the view and disturbing the peace. One crossbar was added, then another. Now you can just see the high tension wires draped across and down to where another like it stands behind the hill. It is a blight; an intrusion on my favorite place of retreat.
In the early morning light, the way the wires hang suspended from the arms reminds me of cloth draped in Lenten mourning. And into my resentment comes a thought. Our Lord’s cross was not hidden away, as I’d like this to be. It was public. He was lifted high for everyone to see, this king of the Jews, this Son of God. And after Easter, we don’t pack the cross away. We display it, wear it, adore it. “Look how much he loves me!”
The tower on the hill links my haven to the noisy, messy world I left behind for the weekend. It interrupts my peace, reminds me that the quiet place I’ve found is just a tiny corner of the world. But today I see that tower as a cross. It is a stark reminder but a welcome one: true peace – the peace God sends when the world spins and crashes loud around me – was bought on Calvary.
The love that took Jesus to the cross did not die, it triumphed over death! It is because of this that Jesus (risen) could say to the disciples who cowered in the upper room, “Peace be with you” and mean it – and they could go forth in peace to love and forgive and serve with joy, in the middle of a scary, mixed-up world.
The cross outside reminds me that I can do the same.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with you all. — 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Do you need peace today? Take a few minutes to meditate on God’s Word. Read the passages below and record what you learn about God’s peace, then pray using one that strikes your heart. Put yourself in God’s presence and pray that he will open your heart and ears to hear from him.
Consider using the steps of Lectio divino to guide your meditation:
- Read the passage several times, allowing the word to sink into your heart. You may find it helpful to begin by reading some of the surrounding verses as well.
- Reflect further on what the word says, listening for what God might be saying to you.
- Respond to God in prayer.
- Rest in his presence and love.
© 2016 Sarah Christmyer